Algeria, a main liquefied natural gas (LNG) source for Europe and the United States, will expand its output capacity to be a top LNG exporter by 2011, its Energy Minister Chakib Khelil told state radio. Khelil said state oil and gas company Sonatrach, Africa’s biggest company by revenue, provides 20% and 13% respectively of US and European LNG needs.
"We have two big ongoing projects, one with Repsol and Gas Natural to produce 4.5 million tones of LNG per year and the second project in Skikda will produce another 4.5 million tonnes of LNG per year, and should come onstream by 2011," Khelil said.
Sonatrach produces 62 billion cubic meters per year and is expected to reach 85 billion cubic meters by 2010. "Half of our gas output is LNG, and 15% of our revenues are from LNG," Khelil added.
Algeria’s oil and gas revenues reached $54 billion in 2006 and $230 billion during the past six years. "As a company, Sonatrach is number one in the world in terms of LNG production. Algeria as a country is third after Indonesia and Qatar," Khelil said.
He said Algeria has the ability to fund its projects, saying that Sonatrach’s total debt was estimated at "only" $500 million.